Classism; the real problem for integration
Published: Monday, October 7, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 7, 2013 17:10
While reading the ongoing banter that has continued to happen between sorority members and those struggling to understand the situation that happened in Alabama written in the Herald, I think we are all missing the point.
There are three key reasons why sororities struggle with constant pressure about discriminatory action that all ties into one word; classism.
In order to shed light on a very touchy issue I want you to first understand socioeconomic poverty, race comparisons, and finally how sororities and fraternities play a role.
In November 2012 the U.S. Census Bureau, after studying the 2010 Census, said “more than 16 percent of the population lived in poverty in the United States,” which is approximately 50 million of the 315 million Americans living in the United States, if you do the math for 2013.
They then reported that of these 50 million Americans 54 percent of them were African American or of Hispanic decent. These statistics mean that 25 million Americans in the United States who are of minority descent are pre-disposition to require federal funding, grants, and scholarships to even pay for college.
This means that individuals who fall under the poverty line are in line with middle or lower class citizens who will financially struggle to complete an ever important education.
Often as higher class citizens or middle class citizens members of sororities or fraternities forget they do one thing that A-State and honor societies do not, and that is require a ton of money to be a part of the “clique.”
This means that the previously cited study done on poverty would be indicative of why Greeks have lower numbers of minorities within their sisterhood or brotherhoods.
There are literally hundreds of intelligent students who receive federal funding who are attractive, have a high GPA, are members of leadership organizations, and would be excellent members of the home they make.
However, Greeks exclude them when they base the bonds of sisterhood/brotherhood on whether or not you can afford matching T-shirts and Sperry’s.
This teaches students who are beyond valuable to our society that money and a pretty face means you get to part of the in-crowd.
I encourage the Greek community to start a new philanthropy project to make A-State stand out.
Create a scholarship fund to include students who would never be able to afford your sorority.
Of course, sororities and fraternities would need to ensure that the recipients are fully committed. To protect the new programs viability they could easily establish a condition for the scholarship that would require the funds to be repaid if the pledge quits.
If Greeks claim to be philanthropy based organizations promoting good, then they should show they are willing to include the faces of those who hunger to be a part of Greek life but know that they could never achieve that reality.
The difference can start here, so why not let it? What it means to be unified, strong, and beautiful should not only depend on the coins in your pocket, but the internal strengths that you harness as an individual.